Advin Cola

The four Advincola brothers who attend Hostos Community College—Esteban, Elias, Josué, and Carlos Ramón, Jr.—already have a built-in support system. However, they will be the first to tell you that they have also benefitted from the services of the College Discovery Program.
College Discovery takes a personalized approach in providing support services to students who have high potential for success but lack the necessary academic preparation needed to pursue college coursework. The program’s benefits include counseling and stipends, and its members are supported from early in the admission process all the way to graduation by the committed staff.
To be eligible for College Discovery, students must be first-time freshmen with a high school academic average below 80 and whose household income falls within the guidelines established by the State of New York. They must also attend and complete the Summer Discover Program unless they are attending high school to obtain a diploma.
Three of the four Advincola brothers qualified for College Discovery and took advantage of its offerings. As a way of paying it forward, they now volunteer their time to show other students the benefits of the program. Elias is currently in CUNY Start, another college transition program, and he will be entering College Discovery in the 2014 spring semester.
If you think the Advincolas get tired of being together and doing classwork, you don’t really know them. Their love for Hostos and the opportunities it has provided is exceeded only by the love for their family.
Ranging in ages 20 to 24, the brothers learned about Hostos from their parents and other family members. After thorough research, they concluded that this was the place for them … all of them. The brothers are following somewhat different educational paths, but they are definitely on this journey together.
Carlos Ramón, Jr., 24, and Josué, 22, began at the College in the Fall 2012, and Esteban, 21, and Elias, 20, enrolled in the Fall 2013.
Esteban sees himself designing “role playing” video games with “great stories and excellent character development.” Already possessing an excellent knowledge of the gaming industry, he says he is most interested in “massively multiplayer online games” (MMORPG), which can support large numbers of players simultaneously.
Josué would like to prepare for a career in animation at Hostos and ultimately help to put New York City “on the map” as an “animation industry leader.”
Instead of butting heads, as some siblings do, the Advincolas genuinely enjoy putting their heads together.
“Some people might think it would be hard to go to school with their brothers or sisters, but we love it,” Esteban said. “Josué and I are in the same field, so we collaborate a lot. And we have been going to school together since kindergarten, so we are used to it.”
Carlos Ramón, Jr. said that because they were born in four consecutive years and have studied together all their lives, it feels natural to be at Hostos together. Already an accomplished author, Carlos has written a fantasy novel scheduled for publication in February 2014.
Elias is the math enthusiast of the family who is working toward a career in accounting. “I love numbers. I love playing with them. No calculators, either; it’s all up here,” said Elias, jokingly pointing to his head.
And while the members of this college quartet are taking a wide variety of courses, the common denominator is that they all have strong GPAs of 3.2 or higher.
The Advincolas have also learned a lot about giving back. In addition to volunteering at the program, the four brothers are also active members of the Hostos Leadership Academy and participate in other extracurricular activities.
Jason Libfeld, Student Leadership Coordinator, said the Advincolas are the Academy’s first set of four siblings and added they have represented Hostos very well.
“Carlos Ramón, Josué, Esteban and Elias are all motivated, courteous and talented students who live their lives with a positive outlook,” Libfeld said. “Through their participation in the Hostos Student Leadership Academy, they are making the world they live in a better place. Each brother has his own unique leadership style and set of qualities that makes them all outstanding members of the Hostos family.”
To learn more about College Discovery, go to: